Sophomore guard Trevor Lacey led the Crimson Tide with 16 points and added seven rebounds and three assists in the losing effort. Junior Trevor Releford added 12 points and three steals, as the Crimson Tide dropped to 6-1 on the season.
“Cincinnati played extremely hard and has a very good basketball team,” head coach Anthony Grant said. “We didn’t do some things well, especially down the stretch. This is a great learning opportunity for us and hopefully will make us better. Overall, I’m proud of the effort that our guys gave today, but we just came up short.”
The Tide faced a deficit of 13 points in the first half before making a late rally.
Alabama looked to be in trouble just before halftime, trailing 33-24 in the waning seconds. But Releford drilled a three-pointer just before intermission to make it a six-point (33-27) halftime score.
That triggered a 14-4 run, which gave Alabama its first lead of the game, 38-37, with 14:16 remaining. From there, it was a back-and-forth affair that featured five ties and eight lead changes – the final one of which came as the buzzer sounded.
For the game, Alabama shot 43.9 percent (25-of-57) from the floor, including 36.4 percent (4-of-11) from three-point range. The Tide also out-rebounded Cincinnati, 37-32.
Cincinnati (7-0) came into the game averaging 87.0 points a contest, but the Tide defense frustrated the Bearcats all night. UC finished shooting just 39.0 percent for the game and 18.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Other notable performances came from sophomore guard Rodney Cooper, who finished with eight points, as well as freshman forward Devonta Pollard, who finished with seven points.
Alabama plays Wednesday, Dec. 5, against Dayton in Coleman Coliseum. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m. CT.